State doubles duty for UC gals

State doubles duty for UC gals
State doubles duty for UC gals

Union City’s Tara Elam and Anna Moore are headed to the state tournament.
Union City rookie tennis coach Elizabeth Mooney knows a thing or two about playing at the state tournament.
Now, so will a pair of her charges — junior Anna Moore and sophomore Tara Elam.
The Twister tandem clinched a spot in the TSSAA Class A-AA Doub-les State Tournament after a victory in the Region 7A-AA Tournament finale on Wednesday at UT Martin.
Elam and Moore defeated Milan’s Emmy Merritt and Mary Jo Stinson in straight sets (6-0, 6-2) in the championship round.
The biggest scare for the Union City duo came during the semifinals, when Greenfield’s Kaylee Kesterson and Kendal Cook — the District 13A-AA champions — forced a tiebreaker in the first set.
The UC twosome prevailed in that case (7-6 overall in the set and 7-0 in the tiebreaker) and never looked back. The second set of the match with the G’field tandem was a 6-0 blanking in favor of the locals.
“They were nervous the first set they played,” said Mooney, a member of the 1999 and 2000 Class A-AA state runner-up Union City teams. “I think they were like, ‘Oh my goodness, what if we lose the first set?’ After they squeaked through in the first set, they got down to playing the way Anna and Tara do.
“I didn’t have to talk to them during breaks (from that point on) because they were really focused on playing their game.”
According to the TSSAA’s website, Moore and Elam will play the Region 8A-AA champion in the quarterfinals of the doubles state tournament at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro on May 26 at 9 a.m. If Moore and Elam win that match, they play in the semifinals the same day at 2 p.m.
A win there would advance the Union City tandem into the title match on May 27 at 11 a.m.
“I hope they get up there and don’t think about where they are,” Mooney said. “They need to just focus on playing and not let their nerves get the best of them like a lot of younger players do.”
In the other match on Tuesday involving a Union City doubles team, senior Russ Smith and sophomore Jacob Triplett lost to Huntingdon’s Barrett Phelps and Michael Jaeger.
Smith and Triplett took their opposition as far as they could in the first set, falling 7-6 (7-2 in the tiebreaker). Then, the pair of Mustangs claimed a 6-2 win in the second set.
“It was a good experience, especially for Jacob as a sophomore,” Mooney said. “I think Russ will look back on it and realize how far he got and be proud of his accomplishment, too.”

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